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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Elder Ronald A. Rasband Celebrates His 68th Birthday Today

Hello again, everyone! With the date change that occurred less than an hour ago, Elder Ronald A. Rasband is celebrating his 68th birthday today. This post is written in honor of that milestone, and I am pleased to share a biographical overview of his life with you all on his special day. Ronald Anderson Rasband was born to Rulon Hawkins Rasband and Verda Anderson in Salt Lake City, Utah, on February 6, 1951. He served as a full-time missionary in the Eastern States Mission, which was headquartered in New York City and encompassed the whole New York Metro area, while also stretching into western New York and Pennsylvania.

He married Melanie Twitchell in 1973, and together they raised five children. He studied at the University of Utah, and would later receive an honorary doctorate degree in business and commerce from Utah Valley State College (now Utah Valley University) in 1995. He began his professional career in the Huntsman Container Company as a Sales Representative in 1976. Still in that employment 11 years later (in 1987), he was promoted to the position of president and chief operating officer of Huntsman Chemical Corporation, where he closely worked with Jon Huntsman Sr. and later served on the board of directors of that company.

His Church service has been extensive. He has been a bishop, Temple Square missionary guide, member of the Church’s Sesquicentennial Committee, and, from 1996-1999, president of the New York New York North Mission. On April 1, 2000, he was sustained a general authority and member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, where he would serve in the Europe North & Europe Central Areas from 2000-2003; and went on to preside over the Utah Salt Lake City Area from 2003-2004. In August 2004, responsibility for oversight of the work of the Church in North America was transferred to the Presidency of the Seventy.

He then served from 2004-2005 as Executive Director of the Temple Department. His call to serve in the Presidency of the Seventy became effective in August 2005, where he had supervisory responsibility for the North America Northwest and North America West Areas for two years, after which he was given oversight for the Utah North, Utah Salt Lake City, and Utah South Areas (from 2007-2009).

By August of 2008, he had become the second most senior member of the Presidency of the Seventy. The following April, as a result of Elder Neil L. Andersen's call to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Rasband became the Senior President of the Seventy, and, as such, was given oversight for all areas in the United States and Canada.

He was still serving in that same assignment when, in October 2015, he was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. With Elders Gary E. Stevenson and Dale G. Renlund called at the same time (something that had not happened since 1906), the number of those who had served as members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reached a total of 100. He is currently the 8th in seniority among the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and is the 6th oldest among the members of that Quorum. He also ranks as the 11th in seniority among all current apostles, and is the 9th oldest of that same group.

I wanted to mention that I have an indirect personal connection to Elder Rasband. When my was involved in the institute program, Elder Rasband was one of her instructors. As a result of the three apostolic vacancies in 2015, my wife was one of many who felt Elder Rasband would be called to the apostleship to fill one of those, and she (and others who felt the same way) turned out to be right.

And I will never forget praying in advance of the October 2015 General Conference for my own personal witness to know that whoever was called had indeed been chosen by the Lord. The moment President Eyring read the names of the three new apostles, I received the witness I had requested. For that reason, I gratefully sustain not just Elder Rasband, but each of our 15 apostles

I also wanted to note that, in his nearly 19 years as a General Authority, Elder Rasband has had 13 opportunities to address us in General Conference: 1 as a General Authority Seventy, 5 more while in the Presidency of the Seventy, and the remaining 7 since his call to the apostleship almost 3.5 years ago. You can review any of those, which have cover a wide range of different topics, here

While I don't know if Elder Rasband will ever read this personally, I am grateful for this opportunity I have had, in my own small way, to pay tribute to and reflect on his life on this day, when he is celebrating his 68th birthday. I do continue to monitor all apostolic updates, general Church news, and any temple-related developments and will keep bringing you word of those as I receive it.

In the meantime, I have no idea right now when my next post will be published (as that will largely, if not entirely depend on any significant forthcoming event or announcement), but if nothing else, I will plan on continuing to report more minor developments in the comment threads of this blog, and will have another new post coming for sure on February 20 (two weeks from today) at which time President Ballard will be observing his first 2019 apostolic nonagenarian milestone.

That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated, on any post at any time, as long as such comments are made in accordance with the established guidelines. Thank you for the privilege of your time. If you enjoyed what you read here and would like to stay informed of newly-added content, please feel free to subscribe. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.